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Cotton Futures Profile and Cotton Futures Trading

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Cotton Futures - Contract Specs:

  • Ticker Symbol: CT
  • Exchange: ICE
  • Trading Hours: 10:30 AM until 2:15 PM EST.
  • Contract Size: 50,000 pounds.
  • Contract Months: March, May, July, October, December
  • Price Quote: price per pound. Ex $.6250 per pound or 62 and 1/2 cents
  • Tick Size: 1/100 of a cent (one "point" = $5/contract).
  • Last Trading Day: seventeen business days from end of spot month.

Cotton Fundamentals :

Cotton is a natural fiber used mainly in clothing and home furnishings. Cotton is normally bought by textile mills, which manufacture the cotton into clothes, towels, sheets, etc.

Seasonally, the highest prices for cotton futures normally occur between March and July. The lowest prices typically occur between September and November.

Texas is the largest producing state for cotton, followed by Arkansas, Georgia and Mississippi.

China is the largest producing country for cotton, followed by the U.S, India and Pakistan.

Cotton Reports:

The Weekly Cotton Market Review is published every week from the USDA. This report summarizes all the USDA's information on cotton, including world prices, export sales, crop conditions, weather and more.

Tips on Trading Cotton Futures:

  • Most of the cotton produced in the U.S. is produced along the Mississippi delta. Watch for extreme dry conditions during the summer or flooding of the Mississippi river. Both should cause cotton prices to move higher.
  • Monitor cotton production in China and India. If their crops are smaller than normal, U.S. prices will typically rise since we will export more of our crops to make up for their shortfall.
  • O.A. Cleveland, Ph.D. of CottonExperts.com publishes a free weekly commentary on the cotton futures market. This is well worth reading to keep up on cotton futures.
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